GM John Lynch relies heavily on former teammate turned 49ers colleague, Martin Mayhew

Apr 3, 2018 at 2:37 PM--


Going from the broadcast booth to an NFL front office job can be a tall order for anyone, even an accomplished former safety like John Lynch. He didn't just become an NFL executive after his time as a FOX analyst; he accepted the general manager job with one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports – the San Francisco 49ers.

Lynch, who doesn't allow ego to get in his way, admits he wasn't sure what he was doing when he first took on the role. So Lynch surrounded himself with experienced personnel like former Denver Broncos director of college scouting, Adam Peters, who now serves as the 49ers' vice president of player personnel.

Lynch also added someone with general manager experience. Martin Mayhew was hired as a senior personnel executive and became a colleague whom Lynch relies on daily.

"He's been of tremendous value to me," Lynch told the Detroit Free Press. "Elephant in the room, I hadn't done this before. And I know what I know and I felt like I had some strengths and my experiences would come in handy — both as a player and as a broadcaster you get exposed to a lot. But there were some things that I just didn't know, hadn't been exposed to, so I knew I had to surround myself with good people.

"And one of the things we first talked about with (49ers CEO Jed York) was finding a guy who's been a general manager who's sat in that seat, and it took me about 10 minutes to, 'I've got the guy, if I can get him.' I played with him and so I trust him implicitly."

Mayhew, a former NFL cornerback who was a teammate of Lynch's with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1993 until 1996, spent eight years as the general manager of the Detroit Lions before a brief stop with the New York Giants and then the 49ers.

Lynch patterns his work ethic from Mayhew, whom he holds in high regard.

"Because I saw him as a great example of how to do that," Lynch said. "He's smart, he's intelligent. I think in Detroit he was very close to turning that thing. It didn't work out. And I also wanted to give him an opportunity to have that opportunity again if he did well and so he's been invaluable. He's been exactly what I thought he'd be and more."

The 49ers acquired offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson, a player Mayhew had drafted during his final year in Detroit, from the Lions before the start of the 2017 season. Tomlinson ended up starting 15 games for San Francisco and will open up the team's offseason program, which kicks off on April 16, as one of the two starting guards.

"Laken played exceptionally well," Lynch said. "We were really pleased with that. We needed somebody, and to get there Week 1 and be force-fed a pretty complex offense is tough, but we felt like his skill set matched up with what we're trying to do. And the coolest thing is he got better kind of throughout the course of the year and at the end was really playing at a high level so we have high hopes for him."

While Mayhew remains with Lynch and the 49ers, he hopes to one day get another shot at a general manager job. He interviewed with the Carolina Panthers in February before they ultimately decided to give the job to Marty Hurney, who had served in the role from 2002 through 2012.

It may not be long before NFL teams start inquiring about Peters as well. Both executives have been crucial in offering guidance to Lynch when it comes to the day-to-day tasks of a general manager and evaluating talent.

"Anybody who jumps in this role, you better have a great team around you," Lynch said in January. "I tried to assemble the best team I could. I'm extremely pleased with both of them and their contributions. Both Adam and Martin have been invaluable to me, as have (director of pro personnel) Ran Carthon and all the scouts that work with us. They've done a really, really good job, working hard, working smart. I'm really happy and glad to have all those guys as part of our team."

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